Old Numbskull - Bourbon Barrel-Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Old Numbskull - Bourbon Barrel-AgedOld Numbskull - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
436 Ratings
Old Numbskull - Bourbon Barrel-AgedOld Numbskull - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A West Coast style barleywine. A huge malt profile and a very aggressive dose of premium domestic hops give Old Numbskull a tantalizing complexity, from the aroma to the aftertaste. A year spent in bourbon barrels adds amazing depth and complexity.

Added by kmcnair on 12-13-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#765
Reviews:
97
Ratings:
436
pDev:
7.67%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
377
Gots:
111
Trade:
15
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 436 |  Reviews: 97
Photo of FLBeerGuy
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Reggae4203
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Crazydaddyo
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of thegerm87
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 08/02/13 notes. 750ml bottle into a chalice. 2012 vintage.

a - Pours a deep, murky reddish brown color with one to two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. No lacing or head retention on the glass.

s - Smells of delicious bourbon, caramel malts, toffee, bready malts, oak, toasted malts, alcohol, coconut, and light fruit. Nose is really great, with tons of bourbon and caramel mixing together wonderfully.

t - Tastes of slightly harsher bourbon, alcohol, caramel malts, coconut, toffee, oak, dark fruity malts, toasted malts, bready malts, biscuit, and earthy notes. Nice taste to it, but definitely a bit harsh right now. I still like it but I like BBA beers hot...a big step down from the nose right now.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Little bit thinner than I expected but nice. A bit hot.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good beer but the taste is a bit harsh right now, keeping it from being great. I'd guess is a few years this will be outstanding. The nose is great and there is a ton of bourbon and caramel throughout. Would like to get another bottle and revisit in a year.

 1,140 characters

Photo of ArchEnemyBrew
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of resistdefy
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of afrokaze
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of mwbrady12
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of MontereyBay831
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pkrager5
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of tectactoe
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again, one last big thanks to Kevin R for breaking out the barrel aged AleSmith goodies. This was the last of the bunch. BA Numbskull pours a seedy copper-ish and overtly muddled brown color. Label it mostly opaque and call it a day. It takes just moments for the khaki head to settle to a dollop of foam in the middle and a crust that outlines the top of the brew.

Very sticky and very deep is the aroma; a brick road paved with elements of prune, raisin, caramel, and toffee, upon which a boisterous crew of bourbon-lathered barrel staves comes tap dancing heavily across. Acetone notes here and there, thundering in and out, covered up by some sweeter grape and brown sugar notes in the finish.

I can already tell that this sucker is going to be a bourbon punch in the throat... or at least it smells that way. It should be noted that the base beer is quite pungently sticky and delicate in and of itself - without its superior pungency, barrel-aging of this magnitude would likely create an undrinkable beer. Sweetness and heat tend to balance, so I sure hope it does, here.

I have a bowl in front of me filled with grapes and prunes, lacquered in a 50/50 mixture of brown sugar and bourbon, and I'm shoveling them in my face with dry, spicy oak spoon each time I take a sip of this beer. It's quite hot. It's quite sweet. But definitely more hot than sweet, like the type of girl you meet at a bar and are afraid to date because she's got no morals or ethics, but she's a freak that can bring you to your knees.

BA Numbskull finishes with more (heavy) bourbon, boozy oak, slightly burnt coffee, bourbon, sweet prunes, bourbon, and brown sugar. Did I mention it was bourbon-y? Order up a cocktail with 2 parts bourbon, 2 parts brown sugar, 1 part prune juice, add 2 dashes of cocoa powder, garnish with a date and a sprinkle with oak chips. Viscous, heavy, thick, and carbonated well enough for the style it represents; creamy, heavy mouth feel.

This beer was pretty good, no doubt, but I don't exactly think it lives up to the acclaim it has been given. Perhaps I should have let the bottle mellow out a bit more? As is, it's a bit too "in your face" with the bourbon and heat to thoroughly enjoy more than a four ounce sample. It's delicious in extremely small doses; the flavors are excellent and work well together, but it becomes clamoring and cumbersome in larger ones due to its heat. I'd like to have this again with more age and see how it fares.

 2,464 characters

Photo of mrebeka
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of akang
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Piddmeista
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of NurseBri
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of CoolEthan
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of jeff1973
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Michigan
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. 2012 vintage.

BA Old Numbskull pours a dark cherry caramel color. Initially a large off-white cap forms, but it bubbles away down to a ring around the edge. A full, rich looking barrel aged barleywine.

There is a lot of bourbon in the nose. Vanilla and sharp brown sugar scents follow. There is a nice malty presence in the second layer that will probably come out more as it ages. There are some tannic woody notes and alcohol in the back.

The flavor has a nice balance between bourbon and barleywine. The bourbon comes through first, with vanilla and tannic woody notes. Brown sugar is the strongest sweet flavor, with caramel, marshmallow, toffee, and dark bread notes. A little bit of citrus or earthy hoppiness comes through at the end. Aside from the bourbon harshness, this beer has tied together very well right now.

There is a noticeable stickiness in the mouthfeel. The bourbon comes through, keeping it a little bit dry and boozy. The carbonation is moderate and creamy, and it has a full body.

This is a very good beer with a strong character. At the moment the bourbon is a bit harsh, but it will smooth out over time for sure.

 1,187 characters

Photo of erikkoppin
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of roodie
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Altenor
4/5  rDev -7%

Old Numbskull - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 436 ratings